Where and when will Captain America fight again now that Marvel Studios has launched the super-soldier as a cinematic superhero franchise? We know that Chris Evans’ shield-baring hero will become a charter member of director Joss Whedon’s The Avengers opening next summer. (What did you think of that teaser-trailer?) But think beyond that. With box office pundits currently predicting that Captain America: The First Avenger will generate a bigger opening weekend than Marvel’s sequel-bound summertime smash Thor, another dedicated Captain America adventure would seem inevitable. (The writers of the first film, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, are already working on a script.) But where in the world – and where in history – will the masked marvel find himself in his next big-screen outing?
If you’ve seen Captain America: The First Avenger (and MASSIVE SPOILERS loom ahead for anyone who hasn’t), you know that the movie concluded with the World War II hero crashing the Red Skull’s stealth-winged flying fortress in the Arctic, then waking up in present day New York City. The implication: Steve Rogers was frozen alive and then discovered, thawed and revived by agents of SHIELD, the super-secret espionage outfit run by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. We might assume that future stories will track the time-tossed patriot’s attempts to adjust to the modern world, plus battle other old WWII foes that somehow, someway also managed to cheat death. (I really want to see Toby Jones’ Arnim Zola make this bizarre, life-extending transformation.)
And yet, the movie never gave us the visual that most Marvel fanboys were expecting: A shot of Captain America trapped in ice. We saw his vibranium shield excavated from the Skull’s snow-filled bomber – but no body. All we got was a long beat of black screen between Cap’s crash in the Arctic and NYC wake-up. (Unless I dozed off and missed it; I saw a midnight screening after a long day at Comic-Con.)